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May 25 airpower summary: F-16 supports coalition exchange

5/26/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in the following operations May 25, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer released guided bomb unit-31s on an enemy compound near Kajaki Dam for coalition forces receiving small arms fire. The bomber also dropped a GBU-38 on an enemy position. Coalition ground forces reported the successful hits.

The Lancer also supported ground forces under mortar attack and released a GBU-31 on an enemy firing position near Asadabad. The joint terminal attack controller, working with the ground commander requested the jet release GBU-38s on a suspected insurgent hide-out. The JTAC reported the strikes as successful.

JTACs are highly trained U.S. Air Force and coalition personnel who advise ground commanders on appropriate air power support, relay the ground commander's intent to air power assets overhead and communicate with aircrews for precision engagement.

Near Gereshk, a Royal Air Force GR-7 Harrier fired rockets on insurgents engaging coalition ground forces from a tree line. The JTAC confirmed the launch was successful and relayed the ground commander's request to attack more hostile personnel advancing in their direction. The Harrier used an Enhanced Paveway II munitions and more rockets to stop the advancement. Weapons systems video confirmed a direct hit.

The GR-7 was also tasked to destroy a building inside an enemy compound.

The RAF fighter launched another EPW-II. The JTAC on the ground reported another direct hit. Other coalition members near the ground forces under attack were able to observe the suspected enemy and reported their movement to the Harrier before receiving mortar rounds from a second insurgent firing position. The jet fired rockets at the second enemy position. As the JTAC reported enemy fire stopped, and they immediately came under another attack.

The GR-7 employed another EPW-II on an enemy compound and fired remaining rockets at advancing anti-coalition members. Afterwards, the JTAC reported all enemy activity in the vicinity had ceased.

Near Oruzgan, a B-1B expended flares and chaff bundles while performing a show of force in reaction to an RPG attack and small arms fire on coalition forces.

In total, 39 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Ten Air Force and RAF intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan.

In Iraq, an F-16 Fighting Falcon strafed anti-Iraqi insurgents with 20mm cannon rounds. The insurgents were firing on coalition forces near Basrah. The JTAC reported several enemy forces were killed or wounded. The fighter also provided armed overwatch for a convoy.

Another F-16 conducted a show of force over a check point in Baquba. The show of force was reported as successful, while other F-16s provided armed overwatch for a convoy

An F-16 over Al Muqdadiyah performed a show of force and searched for suspicions persons in a field. The pilot observed a truck that picked up passengers and relayed the information to the ground force commander through the JTAC. The truck was stopped and searched by coalition ground forces.
Another F-16 provided was tasked to watch villages for suspicious activity.

Also in Al Muqdadiyah, an A-10 Thunderbolt II provided close air support for coalition forces attacked by an improvised explosive device. The Thunderbolt provided armed overwatch as the vehicles convoyed out of the area.

Near Bayji, an F-16 provided armed overwatch for ground forces detonating IEDs.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 58 close-air-support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions supported coalition ground forces, protected key infrastructure, provided overwatch for reconstruction activities and helped to deter and disrupt terrorist activities.

Fifteen Air Force and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Additionally, three Air Force and Navy fighter aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

Air Force C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster IIIs provided intratheater heavy airlift support, helping to sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa. Approximately 161 airlift sorties were flown; more than 585 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 3,649 passengers were transported. This included approximately 21,618 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in Afghanistan.

Coalition C-130 crews from Australia, Canada, and Japan flew in support of operations in Afghanistan or Iraq.

On May 24, Air Force and RAF aerial refueling crews flew 46 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3 million pounds of fuel to 219 receiving aircraft.

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